Cambo SCX - Only for Studio : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread


This appears to be a very solidly made 4x5 monorail, with geared movements and rigid framing. I've been using a Graflex press camera for the last 2 years - with very good results actually. However, I'm looking for greater flexibility for architectural exterior photography.

Are any of you using it outdoors for this purpose? Do you find that a recessed lensboard is sufficient or is a bag-bellows required for 90-65mm lenses?

It appears to be a heavy-weight, one of those where you drive - not hike/trek - to your location and then set-up your outfit. Am I right?


Again, illumination you can provide would be appreciated.

Thanks, Hailu Shack

ps: Are geared movements simply a luxury, as I suspect, or are they really required for some types of composition? (the alternative that I might consider (of the non-Graflexs) is the

-- Hailu Shack (, April 15, 2001


i use the cambo 45nx, which i believe is very similar to the scx. it has been my primary field camera for HABS/HAER work over 15 years, and i have found it to be an extremely rugged and durable piece of equipment. while i am generally able to drive failry close to architectural subjects, many of the engineering resources i have photographed have been in very remote places - i have hiked many a mile with my cambo on its bogen, with a bag full of kodak readyloads. a recessed board is fine for a 90mm, but bellows might be in order for anything wider - the camera can probably do a bit more, but the standard bellows isnt flexible enough to move when it is that compressed.

-- jnorman (, April 16, 2001.

The SCX is a very well made, stable camera! I had one for years and loved it. It is, however, a bit heavy. I did take it out into the field several times but not for a walk... a thoroughly planned shoot. With it and a Bogen 3055 tripod, well it was hefty. The greared movements are great in the studio but if you are going to do the outdoor thing I would probably recommend the Cambo SC. It is half the weight and just as flexible. You don't need a bag bellows for the 90mm but for a 65 I would probably get one. A good technical field camera might be your better bet like a Linhof. Cheers, Scott

-- Scott Walton (, April 17, 2001.

The Cambo SCX can be considered either as a 45NX with geared shift and a much more solid monorail,or as a Cambo Legend without the geared rise mechanism. The weight should be somewhere between these two cameras (45NX: 9 pounds,Legend: 13.5 pounds). I think the Legend replaced the SCX in the Cambo model range around 1989.

-- Stefan Geysen (, April 17, 2001.

Some more info: Hailu, you're right about the driving instead of hiking to the location. I recently bought a Cambo Legend,which,as I explained in my previous post, isn't that much different from the SCX. I did some research about the feasability of using it outdoors. First, you need a fairly big and sturdy tripod to support it (I have a Bogen 3051 with 3039 head which is a wonderful combination, but it's also tall and heavy). Next, you need a big case to transport it; you'll probably have to buy the two-piece detachable monorail to keep the bulk down. So cameras like the SCX and Legend can be used in the field, but mostly close to your car. On the other hand, you could buy an old bicycle,load all the stuff on it, and use it as a hand cart, like the Viet Cong did when they transported supplies over the Ho Chi Minh trail ;-)

-- Stefan Geysen (, April 17, 2001.

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